A coroner’s inquest is set to begin Monday in Pasco, Washington, spotlighting the police shooting death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes. The Franklin County coroner has been fighting and negotiating for nearly two years to have it.
In February 2015, the Mexican farmworker was shot dead by three Pasco police officers. Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks into a busy intersection. Many bystanders recorded the shooting on their phones.
The shooting was investigated by police from other departments in the area. The Franklin County prosecutor did not press charges. Since then, the U.S. Department of Justice has promoted programs like “Coffee With A Cop” to try to get residents and police talking more.
There’s still a memorial outside of Vinny’s Bakery where Zambrano-Montes was shot. People still bring flowers and candles.
The Franklin County coroner’s inquest will have six jurors and one alternate. It is expected to last several days. Under Washington State law, coroner’s inquests can examine suspicious deaths. The inquest can make a recommendation to the county prosecutor, but cannot force charges.